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The English Roman Catholics produced an[435] historianDr. Lingardwho, for the correctness and strength of his diction, as well as the extent of his learning, ranks among the first names in this department of literature. He was a man of great force of mind, remarkable acuteness in testing historical evidence, and considerable powers of description. Being a priest, it was not to be expected that he would be impartial in his treatment of the events and characters of the Reformation, and the subsequent conflicts between the Churches of England and Rome. Of his own Church he was a zealous defender and a skilful apologist; but where that bias did not interfere, his judgments were generally sound. He died in 1851.[513]Whilst Chatham was heading the Opposition in a determined onslaught on the Government, the latter were also compelled to face the awkward American question. Great hopes had been entertained that the people of Boston would be much calmer after the departure of Governor Bernard. Hutchinson, the Deputy-Governor, was not only an American, but a man of a mild temper. But the temper of the Bostonians was now so much excited, that the leaders of the non-importation Act were more vehement than ever. The English merchants presented a petition to Parliament showing that, in consequence of the import duties and the combinations of the colonists to resist them, the exports from England to these colonies had fallen off in 1769 by the amount of seven hundred and forty thousand pounds; that the revenue received from duties paid in America had fallen off from one hundred and ten thousand pounds per annum to thirty thousand pounds.

During this summer the island of Corsica fell into our hands, and that by conduct as brilliant on the part of Nelson and the troops and seamen under him, as was at the time the formal inefficiency of our generals there. The Corsicans soon experienced the insolence and rapacity of the godless French Republicans, and rose in general insurrection. The patriot Paoli was the first to advise them to renounce all connection with such a race of fiends, and was, in consequence, proscribed by the Convention, but at the same time appointed General-in-Chief and President of the Council of Government by his own people. As he well knew that little Corsica was no match for France, he applied to the British for assistance. Lord Hood was then engaged in the defence of Toulon, but he sent a few ships and troops during the summer and autumn to Paoli's aid, and by this assistance the French were driven out of every part of the island except San Fiorenzo, Calvi, and Bastia. The mother of Buonaparte, and part of the family, who were living at Ajaccio, fled to France, imploring the aid of the Convention for her native island. Lord Hood, however, having evacuated Toulon, made haste to be beforehand with them. By the 7th of February, 1794, he had blockaded the three ports still in the hands of the French, and had landed five regiments, under the command of General Dundas, at San Fiorenzo. The French were soon compelled to evacuate the place, but they retreated to Bastia, without almost any attempt on the part of Dundas to injure or molest them. Lord Hood now urged the immediate reduction of Bastia, but Dundas, an incompetent officer, and tied up by all the old formal rules of warfare, declared that he could not attempt to carry the town till the arrival of two thousand fresh troops from Gibraltar. But there was a man of very different metal and notions serving there, namely, Nelson, who was indignant at this timid conduct. He declared that if he had five hundred men and the Agamemnon ship-of-war, he could take the place. Lord Hood was resolved that he should try, whilst he himself blockaded the harbour. Nelson, who declared his own seamen of the Agamemnon were of the right sort, and cared no more for bullets than for peas, had one thousand one hundred and eighty-three soldiers, artillerymen, and marines, with two hundred and fifty sailors, put under his command, with the title of brigadier. They landed on the 4th of April, dragged their cannon up to the tops of the rocks overhanging Bastia, to the astonishment of French, Corsicans, and the timid Dundas. On the 10th Nelson was aloft with his whole force, and with all his cannon in position. A body of Corsicans rather kept guard than gave any active assistance on another side of the town; for they had no cannon, or could not drag them up precipices like British seamen. On the 11th Lord Hood summoned the town to surrender; but the French commander and Commissioner, Lacombe-Saint-Michel, replied that he had red-hot shot for the ships and bayonets for the British soldiers, and should not think of yielding till he had two-thirds of his garrison killed. But Nelson, ably seconded by Colonel Vilettes, plied his artillery to such purpose, that, on the 10th of May, Lacombe-Saint-Michel made offer of surrender, and on the 19th the capitulation was completed. The French forces and the Corsicans in their interest were shipped off to Toulon, after the signing of the capitulation on the 21st; and now General D'Aubant, who had succeeded General Dundas, but who had continued lying at San Fiorenzo instead of assisting at the siege, came up with his troops and took possession of Bastia. The whole loss of the British in this brilliant affair was only fourteen men killed and thirty-four wounded. Calvi, the most strongly-situated and fortified[432] place, still remained to be taken. By the middle of June it was thoroughly invested, both by sea and land, and Nelson again serving on shore, assisted by Captains Hallowell and Serecold, was pouring shells and red-hot shot into the fort. Captain Serecold was killed at the very outset; but Nelson and Hallowell, chiefly with the sailors and marines, continued the bombardment through the terrible heat of the dog-days, and the enervating effects of malaria from stagnant ponds in the hills, and compelled the surrender on the 10th of August, but not before one-half of the two thousand men engaged were prostrated by sickness. The island was now, by the advice of Paoli, offered to the British Crown and by it accepted; but a gross blunder was made in not appointing Paoli Governor, as was expected both by himself and his compatriots. Instead of this most proper and conciliatory measure, Sir Gilbert Elliot was appointed Governor, to the disappointment and disgust of the Corsicans. Sir Gilbert attempted to gratify the islanders by framing a new Constitution for them, and granting them trial by jury; but neither of these institutions was adapted to their ideas, and both failed to heal the wound which the ignominious treatment of their great patriot occasioned.

For a time, Bute and his colleagues appeared to brave the load of hatred and ignominy which was now piled everywhere upon them, but it was telling; and suddenly, on the 7th of April, it was announced that the obnoxious Minister had resigned. Many were the speculations on this abrupt act, some attributing it to the influence of Wilkes, and his remorseless attacks in the North Briton; others to the king and queen having at length become sensitive on the assumed relations of Bute and the king's mother; but Bute himself clearly stated the real and obvious causewant of support, either in or out of Parliament. "The ground," he wrote to a friend, "on which I tread is so hollow, that I am afraid not only of falling myself, but of involving my royal master in my ruin. It is time for me to retire."At this news the Highlanders were filled with exuberant joy. They demanded permission to pursue and attack Cope's soldiers; but the chiefs saw too clearly the grand advantage offered them of descending suddenly into the Lowlands by the road thus left open. Whilst Sir John was making a forced march to Inverness, which he reached on the 29th of August, the Highlanders were descending like one of their own torrents southwards. In two days they traversed the mountains of Badenoch; on the third they reached the Vale of Athol.

[See larger version]A Commission had been appointed to inquire into the Department of Naval Affairs. The Commissioners, at whose head was Mr. Whitbread, had extended their researches so far back as to include the time when Lord Melville, as Mr. Dundas, had presided over that Department. They there discovered some very startling transactions. Large sums of money had been drawn out of the Bank of England on the plea of paying accounts due from the Naval Department; these sums had been paid into Coutts's Bank in the name of the Treasurer of the Navy, Mr. Trotter, who, for long periods together, used these sums for his own benefit. Other large sums had been drawn in the name of Dundas, and had been employed for his profit. Other sums had disappeared, and there was no account showing how they had vanished; but these were scored under the name of Secret Service Money, and Melville declared that the money paid into his account had gone in the same way. As much as forty-eight thousand pounds had been paid over to Pitt at once, and no account given of its expenditure. Indeed, as Pitt had nothing to do with that Department, the payment to him was altogether irregular. These discoveries created a great sensation. George Rose, who had begun life without a sixpence, but who, after attracting the attention of Pitt, had rapidly thriven and become extremely wealthy, had confessed to Wilberforce that some strange jobs had come under his notice as a member of that Department. There was a loud outcry for the impeachment of Melville. Melville appears to have been a jovial, hard-drinking Scotsman, of a somewhat infidel turn, according to Scottish philosophy of that period. Amongst Melville's faults, however, it does not appear that he was of an avaricious character, but rather of a loose morale, and ready to fall in with the licence practised by the officers of all departments of Government in the duties entrusted to them.

SIR ROWLAND HILL, 1847.But it was not till the days of Telford and Macadam that the system of road-making received its chief improvements. The reform in roads commenced in Scotland. Those which had been cut through the Highlands after the Rebellions of 1715 and 1745, chiefly under the management of General Wade, set the example, and showed the advantage of promoting communication, as well as of enabling the military to scour the mountains. In 1790 Lord Dare introduced the practice of laying out roads by the spirit-level, and they were conducted round hills instead of being carried over them. In 1802 a Board of Commissioners for Roads and Bridges in Scotland was established, and Thomas Telford was appointed the engineer. This able man had now a full opportunity for showing his knowledge of road-making. He laid out the new routes on easy inclines, shortened and improved the old routes by new and better cuttings, and threw bridges of an excellent construction over the streams. Where the bottom was soft or boggy he made it firm by a substratum of solid stones, and levelled the surface with stones broken small. Attention was paid to side-drains for carrying away the water, and little was left for the after-plans of Macadam. Yet Macadam has monopolised the fame of road-making, and little has been heard of Telford's improvements, although he was occasionally called in where Macadam could not succeed, because the latter refused to make the same solid bottom. This was the case in the Archway Road at Highgate. Macadam's main principle of road-making was in breaking his material small, and his second principle might be called the care which he exercised in seeing his work well done. For these services he received two grants from Parliament, amounting to ten thousand pounds, and the offer of knighthood, the latter of which he would not accept for himself, but accepted it for his eldest son.

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Arnold had not been able to bring any artillery with him; Montgomery had a little. They had about twelve hundred men altogether; and with this force they now marched upon Quebec. On the 20th of December they commenced firing on the town from a six-gun battery; but their cannon were too light to make much impressionthey had no guns heavier than twelve-pounders, and these were soon dismounted by Colonel Maclean and his sailors. The Americans withdrew their guns to a safer distance; and their troops were desirous to abandon the enterprise as impracticable, but the commanders engaged them to continue by holding out a prospect of their plundering the lower town, where all the wealth lay. On the last day of the year, soon after four in the morning, the attack was commenced. Two divisions, under Majors Livingstone and Brown, were left to make feigned[222] attacks on the upper town, whilst the rest, in two lines, under Montgomery and Arnold, set out amid a blinding snow-storm to make two real attacks on the lower town. Montgomery, descending to the bed of the St. Lawrence, wound along the beach to Cape Diamond, where he was stopped by a blockhouse and picket. Haying passed these, he again, at a place called Pot Ash, encountered a battery, which was soon abandoned. Montgomery then led his troops across huge piles of ice driven on shore; and no sooner had they surmounted these than they were received by a severe fire from a battery manned by sailors and Highlanders. Montgomery fell dead along with several other officers and many men; and the rest, seeing the fate of their commander, turned and fled back up the cliffs. Arnold, at the same time, was pushing his way through the suburbs of the lower town, followed by Captain Lamb with his artillerymen, and one field piece mounted on a sledge. After these went Morgan with his riflemen; and as they advanced in the dark, and muffled in the falling snow, they came upon a two-gun battery. As Arnold was cheering on his men to attack this outpost, the bone of his leg was shattered by a musket-ball. He was carried from the field; but Morgan rushed on and made himself master of the battery and the guard. Just as day dawned, he found himself in front of a second battery, and, whilst attacking that, was assailed in the rear and compelled to surrender, with a loss of four hundred men, three hundred of whom were taken prisoners. Arnold retreated to a distance of three or four miles from Quebec, and covered his camp behind the Heights of Abraham with ramparts of frozen snow, and remained there for the winter, cutting off the supplies of the garrison, and doing his best to alienate the Canadians from the English.The coasting trade carried on by means of steamers underwent an astounding development during the twenty years now under review. In 1820 there were but nine steamers engaged in it, with a tonnage of 500. The next year there were 188 steamers, and thenceforth they went on doubling for several years. In 1830 the number of vessels was nearly 7,000, with a tonnage of more than a million; in 1840 it was upwards of 15,000, with a tonnage of nearly three millions; and in 1849 it was 18,343, with a tonnage of upwards of four millions and a quarter. This account does not include vessels arriving and departing in ballast or with passengers only, which are not required to enter the Custom House. Steam-vessels were not employed in this kingdom for conveying goods coastwise before 1820, nor in foreign trade, except for the conveyance of passengers, earlier than 1822. In the foreign trade the number of steamers increased gradually from that year till they reached the number of 4,000, with an aggregate tonnage of 800,000.

It was apprehended that the enemy would return next day in greater force to renew the contest; but as they did not, the Commander-in-Chief seized the opportunity to summon the troops to join him in public thanksgiving to God for the victory. The year 1846 dawned upon the still undecided contest. The British gained most by the delay. The Governor-General had ordered up fresh troops from Meerut, Cawnpore, Delhi, and Agra. By the end of January Sir Hugh Gough had under his command 30,000 men of all arms. On every road leading to the scene of action, from Britain's Indian possessions, convoys were seen bearing provisions and stores of all sorts to the army; while reinforcements were pressing onward rapidly that they might share the glory by confronting the greatest danger. That danger was still grave. The Sikhs also were bringing up reinforcements, and strengthening their entrenched camp at the British side of the Sutlej, having constructed a bridge of boats for the conveyance of their troops and stores across the river. The enemy had established a considerable magazine at a fortified village some miles from the camp, and Sir Harry Smith proceeded at the head of a[599] detachment to attack it. But Sirdar Runjeet Singh intercepted him, cut off and captured all his baggage; but being reinforced, he met the enemy again at a place on the Sutlej, called Aliwal. The Sikh army, which seemed in the best possible order and discipline, were drawn up in imposing array, 20,000 strong with 70 guns, while the British were 9,000 with 32. After a series of splendid charges the enemy were driven successively from every position, and fled in confusion across the river. Several of the British horsemen followed the guns into the river, and spiked them there. The loss of the Sikhs is said to have been 3,000, while that of the British was only 673 killed and wounded. The moral effect of this victory over such unequal forces was of the utmost advantage to the rest of the army (January 28th, 1846).



[See larger version]After the departure of the British fleet, the Jacobin troops, townsmen, and galley convicts, were perpetrating the most horrible scenes on the unfortunate Toulonese. Even the poor workmen who had been employed by the English to strengthen the defences, were collected in hundreds, and cut down by discharges of grape-shot. Three Jacobin commissioners, the brother of Robespierre, Barras, and Freron, were sent to purge the place, and besides the grape-shot the guillotine was in daily activity exterminating the people. The very mention of the name of Toulon was forbidden, and it was henceforth to be called Port de la Montagne.

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